Australia

The federal government’s climate adviser, Professor Ross Garnaut, told the National Press Club on September 5 that while climate change is “diabolical”, “intractable” and “daunting”, Australia is a “special case” and cannot be expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions to the same extent as other “wealthy nations”.

The prescription of oral contraceptives to a 14-year-old without her parents’ knowledge has triggered a debate over adolescents’ access to confidential health care. The student of Bellarine Secondary College in Victoria was taken by a school nurse to a doctor, who prescribed the medication.

Young people “are the present … whether we have a future or not depends on what we as young people do or don’t do”, proclaimed student leader and minister for the presidency, Hector Rodriguez, speaking on August 22 to thousands of members of the youth organisation of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, the PSUV Youth (JPSUV).

On August 29, Dr Mohamed Haneef was officially declared“no longer a person of interest” — after more than 12 months of “investigations” that included detention without charge, the then-federal Howard government revoking his visa, and continual insinuations of “support for terrorism”, at a total cost of over $8.5 million.

On August 28, Gunns Limited announced to the Australian Securities Exchange that there is a possibility the controversial Tamar Valley pulp mill may not proceed.

“The state Labor government’s failure to honor its promise to pay $55.4 million in reparations to Indigenous stolen wages claimants [is] incomprehensible”, Queensland Council of Unions (QCU) general secretary Ron Monaghan said in an August 19 statement.

BRISBANE — ”The Sri Lankan government is a racist regime which has conducted a decades-long reign of terror against the Tamil people”, Dr Brian Senewiratne, a Queensland medical specialist of Sinhala origin, said at a film night featuring My Daughter the Terrorist on August 30.

Toni Warden, the Greens WA candidate for Kalamunda in the September 6 Western Australian elections, is a founding member of the Stop the Eastern Terminal Substation Action Group (SETS) and a member of the Hills Climate Action Group. She told Green Left Weekly that the main issues in the election are the climate emergency and social inequities exacerbated by WA’s resources boom.

A Rudd government plan to punish parents dependent on welfare with up to three months’ loss of income if their children play truant has been condemned as “elitist and out of touch” by Tasmanian Aboriginal leader Michael Mansell.

Julie Gray, a laboratory worker in the health sector and an active trade unionist, is contesting the North Metropolitan Legislative Council seat for the Socialist Alliance in the Western Australian elections on September 6.

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